Call for sparkling gems and diamonds in the rough

Journal of Managerial Psychology

ISSN: 0268-3946

Article publication date: 18 September 2017

Issue publication date: 18 September 2017



Byrne, Z.S. (2017), "Call for sparkling gems and diamonds in the rough", Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. 32 No. 5, pp. 354-356.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

Call for sparkling gems and diamonds in the rough

In response to my “Hi, I am the new Editor-in-Chief for The Journal of Managerial Psychology,” some people offer “Oh, that’s a fairly new journal, isn’t it?” Well, no, not really. The Journal of Managerial Psychology published its first issue in 1986 – in case your arithmetic has taken a back seat to widgets and apps, that is 31 years ago! Hats off to the excellent editorial work of my immediate predecessor, Dr Lois Tetrick, and her predecessor Dr Dianna Stone. And not just for their Editorial strategy in shaping and growing the Journal, but for their mentoring, as well. Dianna invited me to join the editorial board during her term and Lois later invited me to be one of her Associate Editors. Their emphasis on developing and promoting the Journal, as well as others associated with the Journal, carries on with the new Editorial team, as you will read below.

Relative to some other journals, yes, The Journal of Managerial Psychology may be considered the new kid on the block. Being “new” has its advantages. As the new(er) kid on the block, the Journal offers a potentially broader outlet opportunity than some larger, more well-established Journals. Namely, we are not defined by patterns in our publishing track record, patterns that unintentionally create norms that suggest what will and will not be published in the Journal. In addition to publishing studies that are well-developed and already polished gems, the Journal Editorial team keeps an eye out for the diamond in the rough – the paper that fundamentally shares an interesting and meaningful story but needs polishing. Thus, we offer a greater flexibility in what kinds of papers we accept.

So, what IS The Journal of Managerial Psychology about and what do we publish?

What is the Journal about? The Journal positions itself uniquely between management-based and psychology journals. We are The Journal of Managerial Psychology; not the management journal or the journal of psychology at work. What does that mean? It means the journal concerns itself with the application of theory and practice of managerial psychology, which as a field focuses on the behaviors, theories, practice, methods, and tools used to solve workplace problems and increase the efficacy of people at work. Managerial Psychology is a field that applies psychological principles and theory to executive and managerial roles, to support, improve, and advance the effectiveness of those in the roles towards achieving a healthy, meaningful, and productive organization. Thus, the foundational focus is on the underlying psychological principles that explain, drive, and predict behavior that impacts the organization and its employees. One could argue that other journals have similar aims. True enough. Where The Journal of Managerial Psychology strives to differentiate itself from other journals in the same universe is through its emphasis on psychology, as opposed to broader more eclectic disciplines, such as organization theory. Other journals in the psychology space may also focus on the psychological mechanisms of individual behavior, but their orientation may be directly aimed towards a deep dive into the psychological theories themselves, such as the cognitive aspects of decision-making or the etiology of personality, to name a few. The Journal of Managerial Psychology may be considered a little more macro than some other journals in the psychology space, and yet more micro than some journals in the management space.

What does The Journal of Managerial Psychology publish? The Journal publishes rigorous and unique contributions. The Journal publishes papers across a variety of topics, too many to list here, but a few include: leadership, social media, teamwork, generational communication, older worker stereotype, health, mindfulness, work-family impact at work, bullying, profanity at work, voice behavior, job attitudes, and emotional labor. The Journal is an international journal, which means we receive and publish studies of managerial psychology that take place all over the world.

What is our Philosophy? When I was asked to become the Journal’s Editor-in-Chief, I wanted to be sure that the Editorial team was poised to handle the Journal’s submissions that extend Internationally, as well as align with my goals for the Journal. My main goal for the Journal, one that Emerald immediately embraced, was to not only focus on publishing theoretical papers, and high quality qualitative or quantitative or mixed-method papers that layout the path from science to practice, but I also wanted the authors’, Editorial team’s, and reviewers’ experience with the Journal to be highly meaningful. Having recently published two books on meaningfulness and employee engagement, making the editorial, reviewing, and publishing experience engaging and meaningful was on the forefront of my mind. This meant developing a relationship amongst the Editorial team, creating an actual team as opposed to a collection of individuals who happen to share the same title, developing relationships with our authors and reviewers, and revisiting what it means to disseminate research. We have an obligation to science and practice – to publish research that makes a contribution to science and informs practice, that can be read all over the world, that is conducted ethically and rigorously, and that others can build upon. The Editorial team values both authors’ and reviewers’ time – we desk reject papers that do not meet our quality standards or fit within our Aims. For those that we send through the review cycle, we work hard to render decisions quickly and with quality; those that fail to meet our threshold get feedback on how the paper can be improved.

Let me brag about the Associate Editors. I feel so fortunate to have recruited a fantastic Editorial team. The new Editorial team has been in place since January 2017 and includes Professors Carrie Bulger at Quinnipiac University, Hamden, Connecticut; Helena Cooper-Thomas at the Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand (returning Associate Editor); Donald Gardner at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, Colorado; Brian Miller at Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas; Amanuel Tekleab at Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan; and Xin-an Zhang at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China. Combined, their expertise spans teams, leadership, psychological contracts, organizational behavior, justice, organizational change, self-esteem, attitudes, motivation, performance, staffing, performance appraisal, work/non-work interactions, labor unions, unique populations, sexual harassment, Chinese culture and management practices, managerial psychology, employee-employer relations, newcomers, socialization, fit, stress, quantitative methods, methods in general, maladaptive traits, personality, well-being, and more.

This amazing team brings their complementary skills and interests to the table, and they rely on each other for support and help depending on the Journal challenge. The team shares a dropbox that contains resources and templates. They participated in a group decision letter writing process before taking on new articles, so that we could standardize our approach and views of the Journal mission and communication with authors and reviewers. This incredible Editorial team has been providing coaching to authors and reviewers, in an effort to improve the quality of the review process, increase respect, bolster our relationships, and build a focus on conversation rather than on blunt criticism. Our publisher, Emerald, is responsive, creative, and provides immediate support. My monthly skype calls with the Emerald team are not only enjoyable and collaborative, but productive as we continue to strive towards engaging the academic and practice communities.

What Have We Done Lately? We recently modified our Aims and Scope to focus more directly on managerial psychology, with the emphasis on psychology. We tightened our quality expectations for submissions, provide reviewer guidelines, decreased turnaround time throughout the review cycle, and implemented a closed loop cycle where we provide copies of the decision letters to our reviewers. We have included a statistics expert on our Editorial team to guide us with tightening our expectations of authors for rigor and effective communication of study methods and results. In addition, because we are an international journal, many of our submissions come from individuals whose first language is not English. Therefore, Emerald recently partnered with an outside organization to provide authors with expert editorial support, including language editing and translation, visuals, and consulting. Though we do not require authors to use the service and using the service does not guarantee publication, we suggest it as a mechanism for non-English speaking authors whose writing presents serious challenges to our English speaking reviewer and reader base. Neither Emerald nor The Journal of Managerial Psychology pay for these services on behalf of the authors, but we have found that authors who speak English as a second or third language have benefited greatly from using these services.

What’s Next? As we continue to focus on building relationships and shepherding the distribution of research process, we envision several next steps for the Journal. We hope you embark on these journeys with us, embracing the idea of using the Journal to create and sustain intellectual and passionate conversations amongst and between academicians and practitioners:

  • Practice corner, which publishes action research and practice projects that leapfrog academics in terms of ideas and implementations, but fail to incorporate psychometric and scientific rigor that is simply not feasible in organizations. We hope these papers encourage collaboration between practitioners and scientists.

  • Special issues are not new to the Journal, but have not been active since 2015. We are bringing them back in 2018 and planning two to three special issues per year. We have several hot topics in the works and look forward to launching the first call soon.

  • As of Volume 32, Issue 5, we will move to the online article level publishing. Thus, rather than publish in batches only, articles are individually typeset, proofed, and published online within an average of 32 days from acceptance. Although we still provide the print publication, the articles are now available within a shorter timeframe, thereby increasing service to authors and readers.

Still have questions about The Journal of Managerial Psychology? Please contact the Editor-in-Chief, Professor Zinta Byrne at

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